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Timber Sector Carbon Calculator Proposal

Timber Sector Carbon Calculator Proposal

Timber Sector Carbon Calculator APP


  • On a mobile phone or tablet
  • With a customer/designer/purchaser
  • Within a reasonably short time with some interaction
  • For timber components of an installation
  • Total carbon or carbon saving
  • Total up, calculate and display results
    • embodied carbon
    • sequestered carbon
    • Total carbon

Future Development

  • Costs (already exists in Sarah’s app)
  • CO2 Compare with alternative materials
  • CO2 saving
  • Embodied energy
  • Embodied water
  • Design notes
  • Specification clauses populated by tool

Primary issue for development

  • How accurately do you want calculations?
  • Accuracy dictates price of development
  • Is there a budget to work to?
  • Where are the drivers for the information coming from?
  • What level of accuracy is required by?
    • BREEAM?
    • EcoHomes?
    • Code for Sustainable Homes: is gone
    • Ska?
    • Sustainable Procurement?
    • Enterprise Carbon Accounting?

Issues dictating accuracy

  • Density
  • No need to know species but can work from species via density too Moisture Content:
  • normally timber is specified to a MC
  • Quantity calculation or weigh in
  • Carbon calculation approach v LCA

Accuracy Levels:

  • Density: Choose Hardwood or Softwood Density ranges
  • Species specific densities
  • Moisture content
    • Green
    • Air dried
    • Kiln dried %
    • range %
  • Quantity
    • Ex Size
    • Wrot size
    • Planed size
    • Profiled cross section area
    • Minimum length
    • Actual length
    • Weight
  • Carbon calculation Via LCA along whole supply chain
    • Quoted Carbon calculation at end of line
    • Combination Based on what you sell
    • Sequestered carbon
    • Based on what is wasted as well
    • Embodied & Sequestered carbon
  • Calculate
  • Choose profile of section: drop down menu words & images
  • Choose Size of section Drop down menu or type
  • Choose or type Length of piece
  • Type Number of pieces
  • Calculate Volume of timber
  • Choose Moisture Content from ranges Drop down menus or type in
  • Choose density or Species from drop down menu/look up table
  • Add weight if known or Calculate Weight in kg
  • for LCA calculations for carbon/C02 calculation
  • Equation for kg to Carbon/CO2
  • Wastage Factors
  • Utilisation of log % v % wastage
  • Milling, cutting and planning losses
  • Profile losses
  • Damage in transport and storage

Out of scope

  • Application wastage
  • Data needed
  • Data assembled as drop down lists
  • For consistent entries
  • For all available options
  • Filtered by users or supplier according to their stock
  • Species dataset ICE database including hardwood & softwood
  • NGS has created timber dataset excluding carbon
  • RICS has launched a Carbon Database
  • TTF have developed a Timber Dataset with Carbon
  • ____ has an LCA database of timber species
  • Timber component section dataset
  • EcoChoice Ltd. may have one
  • English Woodlands Timber has one
  • British Standards have some

Future Development/Optional Extras

Alternative materials dataset

  • ICE but inconsistent
  • NGS & CAPEM have created Generic materials dataset
  • May need completing from other sources
  • RICS has launched their Carbon Database

Configuration of Assemblies as look up table

  • To add data to all cells to enable calculations

Special Profile data set

  • Standard profiles in market
  • Need to be collected
  • Or create a calculator to work out
  • Determine wastage to create profile

Costing datasets

  • English Woodlands Timber has one
  • EcoChoice Ltd. must have one
  • Could there be an interface for all suppliers to add their own?
  • Or bespoke it to their current or normal stock?

Installation configuration

Basic configuration with 3D illustration


  • Bridge Pier
  • Deck Groyne Revetment
  • Retaining wall
  • Crib wall
  • Fencing
  • Weatherboarding & battens
  • Flooring/Decking
  • Stud wall
  • Timber framed building
  • Lock Gates
  • Post and Beam building

Installation quantities

  • Overall Size of installation


  • Sections
  • Spacing
  • Length(s)


  • Fasteners

Bespoke configuration

  • Calculator Collator
  • Not easy
  • Needs intervention by us to capture and reuse as basic installation configuration

Save function

  • For repeat of process with variables
  • To user
  • To core for other users

Report function

  • To present to others in design team

Print function

Email function

Other considerations

Timber sector needs this to compete with other materials

Ideally should not be developed for EcoChoice alone

  • Bespoked by each supplier according to stock
  • Could be online for all to access
  • Useable by all
  • Make it an APP for tablet and mobile, etc.
  • Sell cheaply to many
  • Bespoke it for a fee
  • Train in use of it
  • LCA may take into account: (Andrew to advise if included in calculations or not)
  • Land use change
  • Forestry/Plantation impacts
  • Transport on land at forest/plantation end
  • Transport in rivers
  • Transport across oceans by tanker
  • Transport locally rail and/or road
  • Where in the supply chain is machining?
  • Energy and carbon in timber mills
  • Biomass waste to energy at mills

Future Development/optional extra

  • Water consumption Embodied water
  • Durability Life expectancy as species for application
  • Need or avoidance of preservative treatment
  • Important for LCA Less important for embodied carbon?
  • Need or avoidance of kiln drying
    • Important for embodied energy
    • Could be important for embodied carbon depending on fuel

Species selector

  • Choose species based on
    • performance requirements
    • properties
    • appropriate characteristics
    • appropriateness to application
    • Colour and appearance,
    • figure and grain
    • Application
    • Report on why species shortlisted are suitable
    • And why chosen species are not suitable
    • Guidance on choosing and reserving logs

Partners and Prior experience

  • Sarah Farmer @ English Woodlands Timber
    • Timber in the blood
    • Created timber stock and price calculator for supplier (employer at the time)
    • Used on tablet
    • Fast selection species, sizes, quantities
    • Delivers price instantly
    • Willing to introduce us to Director to consider sharing core of tool with a different output for the wider benefit of the sector
  • Dr Andrew Norton @ Renuables
    • Timber & Biobased in the blood
    • LCA expert (for carbon and other outputs)
    • Timber and Biobased expertise
    • CAPEM Compass experience
  • Brian Murphy @ Green Building Encyclopaedia
    • Green blood
    • Data hoarder/Excel champion
    • CAPEM compass experience
    • GreenSpecSTUDIO experience
    • Fast learning about crowd funding
    • Request from EcoChoice to fulfill if UEA fail
    • Website to disseminate results
    • CPD and promotion opportunities
    • Future Development/Optional Extras
  • Dan Ward @ Archisan Architect runs own practice
    • Green aspiration
    • Graphics champion
    • Sketchup Champion: 3D Models, BIM Ready
    • Can create a BIM library of installation objects with Carbon & LCA Data
  • Paul Jary @ BIM Systems UK
    • ITC in the blood
    • BIM Level 3 user
    • Has integrated CAPEM outputs into BIM
    • Has BIM Library online


  • Have not even started thinking about it
  • Accuracy level dictates level of development and costs
  • Keep it simple meet EcoChoice Ltd. requirement and no more
  • EcoChoice Ltd. will fund what they want.
  • Future development optional extras: later not now
  • Optional extras may be of interest for EcoChoice Ltd. later
  • Sarah has done something very like this already but focuses on costs
  • May be able to work out rough time spent Weeks Months?
  • Need some prices from front end interface developer
  • Upgrade to mobile as well as tablet
  • Start with Excel function, first prove it works
  • Then put a good front end on it
  • Then price the other activities
  • By doing test runs
  • Need to work out some costings for activities
  • Need to determine any data licences
  • We can barter with CAPEM datasets
  • Funding further developments
  • Need to approach TSB/InnovateUK/LEP about R&D funding
  • Need to consider Crowdfunding as match funding to develop further

© 2014 NGS BRM SJF & AN Renuables

Video for TRANSECO: to be developed Involvement in project in abeyance


Revision Comment Author Org Date

A00 %%% Created file after Peterborough B2B 2014 exhibition in readiness for meeting with Grant Fund agencies BRM NGS 26/10/2014

A00 %%% Had meeting with EcoChoice who want Carbon calculator APP for his business discussed with Sarah Farmer BRM NGS 28-30/10/2014

A00 Issue 5 pages on Carbon calculator to SF & AN BRM NGS 30/10/2014

A01 Updated after call to Andrew Norton BRM NGS 30/10/2014

A01 Issue to EcoChoice for consideration BRM NGS 30/10/2014

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
2nd February 2017

Timber Sector Carbon Calculator Proposal

GBE Timber Carbon Calculator APP PDF

GBE Timber Carbon Calculator APP DOC





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© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
2nd February 2017

Timber Sector Carbon Calculator Proposal
See Also: 

GBE Proposals

GBE Calculators



  • Carbon
  • Timber


GBE Robust Specification

GBE Shop

GBE Templates

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
2nd February 2017

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